‘Tumbleweeds Films for Kids’ part of Sundance Film FestivalFeb 01, 2021 12:53PM ● By Tom Haraldsen
PARK CITY—The annual Sundance Film Festival begins in earnest today, Jan. 29 and runs through Wednesday, Feb. 3. It is a much different festival than in years past – all virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That said, there are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy elements of traditional Sundance offerings.
One designed for the whole family is the Utah Film Center’s launch of “Tumbleweeds Films for Kids,” with new movies and workshops carrying uplifting and enlightened messages. It’s part of the Festival Village on Main Street that Sundance is offering this year for live streaming.
Utah Film Center’s streaming platform will host new films and workshops releasing at the beginning of each month. The Center will curate and present a diverse selection of new releases and past Tumbleweeds Film Festival favorites that audiences have enjoyed from the longest-running kids film festival in the Intermountain West. Utah Film Center is taking a hiatus from its traditional Tumbleweeds Film Festival which would be celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Over the years Tumbleweeds Film Festival has grown into a multi-venue, cultural mainstay in Utah.
Utah Film Center Executive Director, Patrick Hubley, said in a release that, “Despite the pandemic, we are committed to providing our community with access to high-quality films for young audiences from around the world that will both entertain and illuminate the world around us. Film is a powerful medium that can inspire, unite, spark ideas and honor different perspectives, all things that we believe are essential to our human experience. We look forward to connecting virtually with young audiences and sharing a wealth of remarkable films from around the world.”
Utah Film Center Managing Director, Mariah Mellus, said, “In a year where all of our lives have been upended, we look forward to bringing a trusted voice in film curation to young audiences in a consistent and accessible way. To ensure the movies can be a resource for teachers and provide flexibility to families, Utah Film Center is providing longer viewing windows for streaming and workshops that will inspire young audiences to explore, investigate, and dream.”
Tickets and passes for Tumbleweeds Films For Kids are available at Utahfilmcenter.org/tumbleweeds.
Tumbleweeds Films For Kids available at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival starting January 29 are:
The Adventures of Thomas and Felix / USA (Director: Micah Barber) – Ten-year-old Thomas has a best friend: Felix the Fox. But his parents want him to make “real friends,” so they send him to summer camp. He hates it. So he and Felix make a midnight escape. Official Selection: 2018 Tumbleweeds Film Festival. Age recommendation: 8 years old and up
The Bears Famous Invasion Of Sicily / France, Italy (Director: Lorenzo Mattotti) – To find his long lost son and food to survive the winter, the great bear king leads his clan down from the mountains and into the world of men. After escaping terrible monsters and defeating an evil duke, the bears and men live together in peace – for a time. Official Selection: 2019 Cannes Film Festival – Un Certain Regard. Age recommendation: 10 years old and up
Felix / South Africa (Director: Roberta Durrant) – In this uplifting film from South Africa, 14-year-old Felix Xaba must overcome obstacles at home and school in order to fulfill his dreams. Official Selection: 2014 Tumbleweeds Film Festival. Age recommendation: 10 years old and up
H is for Happiness / Australia (Director: John Sheedy) – Based on the successful young adult novel My Life As An Alphabet by Australian author Barry Jonsberg, the film follows Candice Phee – a 12-year-old girl with boundless optimism and a unique view of the world. Set in a small coastal town, it’s about an unflinchingly honest girl’s determination to bring her family back from the brink. Official Selection: 2020 Tumbleweeds Film Festival. Age recommendation: 10 years old and up
Los Bando / Norway (Director: Christian Lo) – Best friends Axel and Grim dream of making musical history with their teen band “Los Bando Immortale.” After receiving an invitation to the Norwegian Rock Championship it now appears anything is possible. The only problem is Axel can’t sing and Grim can’t bear to tell him the truth. They hire Martin (a race car driver) and invite Thilda (a 9-year-old cellist) and set out on a musical road trip to the far Norwegian north. With every passing kilometer, the band grows closer and it becomes clear that they were destined to change rock forever! Or maybe not. Official Selection: 2018 Kristiansand International Children’s Film Festival. Age recommendation: 10 years old and up
We Are The Radical Monarchs / USA (Director: Linda Goldstein Knowlton) – Meet the Radical Monarchs, a group of young girls of color at the front lines of social justice. Set in Oakland, a city with a deep history of social justice movements, the film documents the journey of the group as they earn badges for completing units including being an LGBTQ+ ally, preserving the environment, and disability justice. Started by two fierce, queer women of color, we follow them as they face the challenge to grow the organization, both pre and post the 2016 election. Age recommendation: 12 years old and up